For many of you, fire ants are a familiar foe, and for many more they soon will be. These little reddish/brown insects came into the U.S. along the Gulf Coast from South America earlier this century and are rapidly spreading North and Westward.
Spray individual weeds without catching your favorite plants in the crossfire. Cut the bottom off of a plastic 2-liter soda bottle. Set the bottle over the trouble-making weed, stick the sprayer nozzle in the mouth of the soda bottle, and spray away. Let the chemicals soak in for a few seconds before lifting the bottle. For larger problem areas consider using a cardboard box.
Weeds popping up through paving stones or cracks in sidewalks can be a huge annoyance. Here’s a solution to stop them without back breaking work or toxic pesticides. Fill a spray bottle with household vinegar and spray it liberally on the offending weeds.
A rubbing alcohol spray is effective against a number of plant pests. To make the spray, mix 1/2 to 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 quart of water in a pump-spray bottle. It’s a good idea to test spray one leaf and wait a day to check for damage. Treat at 3-day intervals for 10 days or as needed.
If you’re about to recycle your old plant containers here’s a tip to keep in mind. Diseases and fungus can be transmitted from one plant to another through contaminated pots, so before you reuse a pot sanitize it.
You don’t usually see them during the day because they feed at night, but the holes in your plant leaves (such as Hostas) are most likely from slugs. Although chemical methods of eliminating slugs may prove effective here’s a natural method that even the kids can help with.
Controlling weeds is high on every homeowner’s to-do list and Dr. Trey Rogers, Yard Doctor for Briggs and Stratton, explains that it may be easier than you think. Practicing proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing will actually prevent a lot of weed problems because healthy lawns leave little room for weeds.
Stop grasshoppers and other chewing insects from eating your plants by making them eat flour. Place three cups of all-purpose flour in a garden duster or saltshaker and then jiggle the plants to get the insects moving. Dust the insects and the leaves of the plant with the flour.